Rail fares rise by 250% since privatisation

Some rail fares in Britain have risen by as much as 250 per cent since British Rail was privatised, according to research by the TSSA transport union.

Some rail fares in Britain have risen by as much as 250 per cent since British Rail was privatised twenty years ago, according to research by the TSSA transport union.

The biggest price hike was on Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin line, where a walk-on return fare from London to Manchester has increased by 245 per cent since April 1, 1994. A 250 per cent price increase was also found on a First Great Western return fare from London to Bristol.

The research on fair increases since privatisation 20 years ago found rises of between 141 and 245 per cent despite the fact that overall price rises, as shown by the RPI , increased by 78 per cent over the same period.

“This proves what every passenger knows in their bones”, said TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes. “The private rail industry has been ripping us all off for the past 20 years.”

“Fares on the most popular routes have more than trebled, rising three times faster than the rate of inflation. When the Tories sold off the railways, they gave the likes of tax exiles like Sir Richard, a licence to print money. He and his fellow privateers have been exploiting that licence ever since,” he added.

TSSA is asking a future Labour government to introduce a one year fares freeze if it wins next year’s General Election.

Top Ten Fare Rises Between April 1 1994 and April 1 2014

Anytime Return Fares from London

1994 2014 % Increase
Manchester £93 £321 245%
Bristol £56 £193 245%
Liverpool £91 £301 231%
Cardiff £69 £213 209%
Birmingham £54 £164 204%
Nottingham £57 £160.50 182%
Glasgow £126 £352 179%
Leeds £93 £249 168%
Newcastle £120 £301 151%
Edinburgh £126 £304 141%
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4 Responses to “Rail fares rise by 250% since privatisation”

  1. subtleknife666

    The whole point is that they are NOT fair increases. Oh, wait, were you just being illiterate again?

  2. Fred

    Tripled. The word is tripled.

  3. whoknows

    Rail prices reflect a lack of subsidy.Subsidy by central government was paid through taxes that were collected and administered.Free market supply and demand is quicker and more cost efficient.We therefore paid more before for rail , just indirectly.

  4. dan ash

    Lack of subsidy? Really? An IEA report last year stated “Taxpayer subsidies to the rail sector have reached astronomical levels.
    At £6 billion per year (including Crossrail), they have roughly trebled
    in real terms over the last twenty years. But the high rate of subsidy
    has not led to a reduction in fares…”

    The privitised rail industry is indeed taking us for a ride.

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